“All That’s Utopian Melts Into Asphalt” on The Nation

Illustration by Josh Gosfield

“I see Utopia Parkway like this. All the grandiose plans have faded into the prosaic present, the small houses inhabited by people from everywhere on earth, struggling each day to build for themselves and for their families a private sliver of a better world. Behind the chrome railings racked with roses, their kids grow up into New Yorkers. Like me, they will forget the old languages of their old countries but will grow up striving for their own utopia, their very own no place.”

“A Miniaturist Goes Large” by Molly Crabapple

Shahzia Sikander/Sean Kelly, New York
Shahzia Sikander: Pleasure Pillars (detail), 2001

Molly’s review of Shahzia Sikander’s latest show “Extraordinary Realities” at the Morgan Library is on the New York Review of Books.

In this show, the juxtapositions are scintillating. Tantric acrobats. Brooklyn water towers. Horses that resemble the letters of a language that never was. The purported manuscript pages become palimpsests, entries in a sort of Borgesian library or archive, a repository as vast as the Earth itself. Her images invite the viewer down a rabbit hole papered with the detritus of empire, its wars and masquerade balls…

100 Years from Mississippi, and fundraiser for India

Molly contributed animations for the recently released film 100 Years from Mississippi, Best Documentary winner in the Harlem International Film Festival. 

“Mamie Lang Kirkland still remembers the night in 1915 when panic filled her home in Ellisville, Mississippi. Her family was forced to flee in darkness from a growing mob of men determined to lynch her father and his friend. Mamie’s family escaped, but her father’s friend, John Hartfield, did not. He suffered one of the most horrific lynchings of the era.

Mamie vowed to never return to Mississippi – until now. After one hundred years, Mamie’s youngest child, filmmaker, Tarabu Betserai Kirkland, takes his mother back to Ellisville to tell her story, honor those who succumbed to the terror of racial violence, and give testimony to the courage and hope epitomized by many of her generation.”

100 Years From Mississippi is now in film festivals

We also wanted to bring to your attention that India is currently dealing with a massive wave of new COVID19 cases, and is struggling to provide adequate care to patients.

In an effort to help, 100% of sales from each personalized copy of Drawing Blood and Brothers of the Gun bought from the shop will be donated toward fundraisers focusing on providing oxygen and medical care in India.

We’ve already donated over $2,000.00 and will continue to donate all of this week.

Each book contains a hand drawn, one-of-a-kind illustration by Molly (spoiler – may contain cats!).  And now until May 23rd, if you purchase one of Molly’s books from the shop, you can also get 20% off the print of your choice with code INDIA20

“Deadly Shame” with the National Nurses Union

Molly partnered with National Nurses United for a three part animation series “Deadly Shame”, exploring some of the issues addressed in their latest campaign.

‘“Deadly Shame: Redressing the Devaluation of Registered Nurse Labor Through Pandemic Equity” is a new white paper by National Nurses United (NNU) which provides an in-depth analysis of the devaluation of nurses’ care work and resulting inequities, their experiences on the pandemic’s front lines, and ways to redress these issues through collective action.”

Visit www.deadlyshame.org for more information

No Victor But God on Kerning Cultures

The podcast Kerning Cultures recently took a look at the enduring presence of Arab culture in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Molly was interviewed about the aesthetic influence of Arab culture in San Juan, that you may remember from the 3:AM magazine piece “No Victor But God”. Listen to this episode of Kerning Cultures for more in depth conversations about how Arab influences in Spain found their way to colonized North America.

“America’s Political Roots Are in Eutaw, Alabama”

The insightful new piece “America’s Political Roots Are in Eutaw, Alabama” written by Adam Harris and illustrated by Molly Crabapple is live at The Atlantic.

“Alabama hid aspects of its history for years, omitting them from textbooks and disregarding them in classrooms, which meant Black people learned their history from one another—perhaps while sitting at the feet of their elders, who would explain that it didn’t have to be this way.

Just after the Civil War, the nation went through a moment of radical political reimagination. Southern states were forced to introduce progressive measures to their constitutions in order to be readmitted to the union. In Alabama, that meant establishing free public schools and granting Black men the right to vote, among other things. But the progress was tenuous; in some ways, its undoing began when a mob murdered Alexander Boyd.”

Check out this important piece of American history here

“Welcome To The Zo” Wins Gold Medal

The three part series, produced by The Marshall Project, has just won a gold medal for use of video from the Society for News Design.

Judges said: “It has the potential to reach a broader audience because the characters are personal enough where they feel like people you would know … but they’re not quite individual people, so you can almost see yourself in them.”

See the full series here

“Molly Crabapple on New York City Before—and One Day, After—COVID-19” – Literary Hub

Molly’s latest writing on COVID and New York City is up on LitHub, Check it out here

COVID has trapped all of us in place. It has forced us to realize that we had no homeland except the ground on which we stood. Wherever we are right now, that is ours. Patriotism gets a bad rap, for good reason, but I’m talking about something different, which is a clear-eyed love for your born or chosen home. It doesn’t matter if the rats are dancing bachata, or the train station floors are oozing like open sores. Love the place even if it is dying around you.

A Message from the Library: Molly Crabapple

Earlier this year Molly gave a virtual lecture from the Brooklyn Public Library as part of their series A Message from the Library. The full talk is available courtesy of BPL Presents.

“Brooklyn Public Library’s Message from the Library lecture series continues with award-winning artist and author Molly Crabapple (Drawing BloodBrothers of the Gun with Marwan Hisham). Crabapple will address the impact of COVID-19 on New York City and its people, and suggest strategies for creating a more honest and livable city.

Following the lecture, patrons will be invited to join a break-out room discussion led by Murtaza Hussain. Hussain is a national security journalist for The Intercept living in New York City. He reports on protest movements and revolutions around the world as well as criminal justice and politics in the United States.

Message from the Library lectures ask leading cultural figures to reflect on today’s most precarious issues and is part of BPL’s mission to convene diverse voices in the Library’s safe space to have meaningful dialogue about the political, economic, social and cultural issues of the day.”

-Brooklyn Public Library

“Blueprints for a better world”

Molly’s latest artwork is featured in Document’s fall/winter issue “Blueprints for a better world: Rethinking the role of community

For Document’s Fall/Winter 2020 issue, we invited a selection of the culture’s most compelling creative minds to imagine a better way of living. Where will we live? What will we wear? Could nightclubs be treated as cultural institutions? How can art and poetry help render a radical alternative? The resulting portfolio isn’t a guide to founding back-to-the-land communes or fully automated fantasy worlds; rather it’s a call to reject authority, thrive in chaos, think freely, and go forward in a new direction.

“She Grew up in the Amazon, and Now She’s Fighting For Its Life”

Last year’s fires in the Amazon reduced over 17 million acres of the rainforest to ashes. As the so-called “lungs of the world” burned, former Brazilian presidential hopeful and environmental activist Marina Silva emerged as the main dissenting voice of her country’s lax environmental policies. Most recently, she has called out the Amazon’s indiscriminate deforestation and the expansion of agribusiness.

Read the full interview with environmental activist Marina Silva by Robert Valencia for Earth Justice, Illustrations by Molly Crabapple

Library Events!

Tonight, 12/8 Molly will be joining fellow New York Review contributors Deborah EisenbergMichael Greenberg, and Hari Kunzru to come together and discuss a future of resilience and renewal for New York. Moderated by Jana Prikryl, a senior editor and poetry editor at The New York Review. Presented by the New York Review of Books and the New York Public library.

Event begins at 8, register here.

On Sunday, December 13th, join Molly (digitally) at the Brooklyn Public Library for the next Message from the Library lecture.

Message from the Library lectures ask leading cultural figures to reflect on today’s most precarious issues and is part of BPL’s mission to convene diverse voices in the Library’s safe space to have meaningful dialogue about the political, economic, social and cultural issues of the day.”

Register here for more details